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Shift - Chapter 30 - The Warning

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Meanwhile during the fight Yuki and Seiji had with the assassin, across town Yumi and Yori were having lunch together in an unused class room in the club and activities wing of the school. Yumi had spent the previous lunch with her friends, but made a promise to Yori that she would meet with him today. She was still uncertain what it was that he wanted from her. “Brother…what is it that you wanted to talk about?”

Yori sat in opposite of her at one of the smaller desks with his lunch laid out next to her own food with a very similar array of food. It was clear that they were both made together. He took a small bite from his food before he looked up her at to speak. “I want you to stop spending time with Yuki Hayashi, sister.”


Chapter 30 – The Warning

Yumi dropped her food on the table pausing in the moment confused and puzzled by her brother’s words. ‘How does he know about Yuki? I’ve never told anyone…’ She placed her hands on table setting down what was in her hands and folding her hands into her skirt becoming nervous. A little trail of sweat was forming along her neck from the stare of Yori. “Why, Yori?”

Yori, who had been eating naturally, looked back at his sister returning the serious gaze that he had been holding the entire time. “I’ve known that you’ve been seen in the company of Yuki and his friends several times.”

“But…Yori, he’s a classmate.”

“During class it can’t be helped, but I don’t want you spending time with them anymore.”

“But why?” She had not known how much Yori knew about her school life. The fact that he knew meant that he was following her or keeping track of her made her a little more uneasy than she already was before. She knew her brother was concerned about her well-being and cared for her a lot of the time, but this was unusual.

Her brother came to pause once more in his lunch, which was now half eaten unlike Yumi’s. “I’ve heard about Hayashi’s past at his last school. He’s dangerous and I don’t want him to drag you into what he happens to be mixed up in.”

Yumi did not know much about Yuki apart from the name of the last school that he attended. Most of the time, Yuki did not speak anything about his past, but was generally happy, cheerful and upbeat in class if not a little strange at times. For Yumi, the way that he acted never really bothered her. She thought that his attitude was warm and inviting apart from many of the other students that seemed to be a little more distant. “I haven’t heard about anything like that. Yuki’s not like that, brother.”

“I don’t trust him, Yumi. I don’t know much about him, but he has a violent history of fighting and bullying.”

Yumi’s eyes grew wide when she heard this about Yuki. This was nothing like what she saw from him during class. She knew some of his friends could be aggressive, but she had never seen Yuki fighting. “I’ve never seen him fighting.”

“I’m your brother and I care about what happens to you. But I won’t force you. I wanted you to know my feelings and be aware of him. Please think about what I’ve said though.” Yori finished his lunch and seeing that Yumi was still unable to eat her own lunch needing time alone to think left the room.

Yumi stared down at the table for several minutes unable to think or move. It was not even a matter that she learned something that could be frightening about Yuki that paralyzed her so much. The issue troubling her mind was that it was her brother that came to her. ‘What do I do? I can’t go against my brother, but Yuki…’ She did not know if she could just stop, the feeling…her feeling…(it’s all quite embarrassing for her).

The rest of lunch went by slower than a snail trying to reach the other of a window for Yumi. Her food was nearly forgotten by her as she was lost in thought. When she realized that she had not touched any of her food she panicked and hurried through it not feeling so good afterwards. The stress and uncertainty combined with eating too fast made for a poor combo inside Yumi requiring her to go to the nurse’s office for a part of the day.

‘What am I going to do? I can’t remain here all day…’ She hung the sheets of the bed that she was resting in over most of her face. Every time she thought about her brother it only made her stomach feel even more ill and when she thought about Yuki she felt warm, which certainly was not helping matters. ‘Yuki…Yori…I don’t know what I should do…’

She remained in the nurse’s office for most of the rest of the day until her worry managed to subside enough for her to leave. The remaining part of the day was made a little easier on her since she did not see Yuki, but him not being present left her a little concerned for him. When school came to an end she walked home with her friends. Due to her being so quiet, they talked between each other not noticing the turmoil that was boiling around her.

Yumi’s house was first on their stop and so she departed company with them in a vacant bow before making her way to the front door. She fished around her pack for her keys to the door becoming increasingly more absentminded by the minute. Once the keys had been found she opened the door and took off her shoes. “I’m home!” she announced knowing already that she was in the house alone. Yori would not be back for sometime due to student council and her mother worked most of the day to support them as a single mother. Having an empty house made things a little easier for her with the problems that she was dealing with today.

She walked into her room closing the door behind her and collapsed on her bed burying her head in her pillow leaving her pack on the floor. Yumi’s bedroom was bright and cheerful with a few assortments of stuffed animals lying about from when she was younger. There was a desk at the opposite side of her room layered with papers and books from studies. A few posters lined the walls adding variety and color to the plain walls. At her bed side on a table with the alarm clock and lamp was a picture of her brother as well as her mother and father, but slipped into the corner of the picture frame was a small snapshot of Yuki with his head turned looking away from the camera.

“What am I supposed to do? Someone…”

The evening gave way to night and Yumi recovered enough to have a meal with her brother. They had become accustom to making their own meals and usually shared the duties. At first, their cooking efforts were poor, but they were given the chance and sometimes forced to get better if they wanted to have a decent meal. It was not their fault that their mother worked multiple jobs just to cover the cost of living for them. So they helped where they could.

Since Yumi was in no mood to cook it fell to Yori to do so that night. The mood was filled with tension even though Yori was acting like there was nothing wrong between them. Yumi was not certain to really even call what was happening a fight since Yori had dropped the matter after he said his bit. However, for Yumi it felt like there were miles between them as she had to be cautious of any words or actions she made. She did not want to do anything to upset him. Most of time, he was the only one that she had near her when she was not at school. She did not know what she would do if she was left to feel alone with her brother.

The uneasy meal eventually came to an end for Yumi and she left for her room again unable to deal with the pressure that she was feeling from the room. She fell back on her bed having a difficult time doing anything even sleeping. All her mind could do was twist and turn through mazes and spirals that seemed endless and linking back on each other leaving her only further confused. Her thoughts repeated through cycles with none answered or barely responded. Somehow through it all, she passed out still in her school uniform.

As Yori was passing through the hall he noticed Yumi’s door cracked open with her light still on in the late hour of the night. Their mother had returned home recently and he had finished with helping her. He peeked into the room to see if she was studying only to find her lying on her bed asleep. Yori quietly walked into her room feeling sad for the troubles that were weighing her body. He could not get her out of her clothes, but he should at least cover her up. Yori turned down her covers and carefully put her under them pulling them up to her shoulders.

Yumi turned suddenly on her bed facing Yori while he was bent down. “…Brother…” she said softly while shifting in her sleep.

He turned out her light and walked out of her room looking back. ‘I didn’t want to place such stress on you, but know that I do care. I hope you feel better tomorrow.’

The morning came and Yumi pulled herself up out of bed still feeling a little tired, but confused as well to being under her covers. She let it pass by though as she looked down to see that she was still wearing her school uniform. “Oh no! I slept in my uniform! It’s going to be so wrinkled! Oh no!” Yumi jumped out of her bed tossing her uniform on her bed in a panic starting to running around her room. Then she looked down at her alarm clock to see the time was twenty minutes past when she normally woke up. “I’m late too!” She realized that she needed to shower as well as get new clothes and deal with her wrinkled ones. In the flurry of her panic she started to feel lightheaded with her eyes becoming spirals and smoke escaping her ears as she collapsed to her knees trying to calm down. “What am I going to do…”

After an exhausting start to a morning, Yumi made it to school with her friends. Her brother Yori usually had student council matters to attend to in the morning that required him to leave earlier than her. So it made it rare for her to see him except at home. She had mostly recovered back to her normal quiet shy self that smiled and agreed with her friends’ idle conversation.

Once class began she could see that Yuki was back at school after his strange absence from class yesterday. She was not certain, but there seemed to be something a little different about him. He was still cheerful and happy, but it looked like he was not complete or something. It was a strange feeling that she could not put her finger on, but she did not dwell on it. During class, she tried to keep her eyes forward, but could not help them swaying away from the lesson towards Yuki. She tried to push down the fuzzy feelings that were washing over her each time. ‘…Yuki…’

While their last class of the day was being taught she noticed that Yuki had fallen asleep. Most of the day, he had kept his outbursts down to a minimum, though Yumi noticed that Saki and Ayumi were often covering for him. ‘…Saki and Ayumi…’ It made her curious what sort of relationship the two had with Yuki to always been helping him so much. She had tried to help him once or twice, but she was so timid that her voice was never heard.

Even though Yumi was watching Yuki sleeping peacefully, the teacher was not enjoying him sleeping during his lecture and shouted to him wake up. Yuki was slow to pull himself up looking half awake even when he sat up. “But the galaxy’s in danger…” he said still waking up.

The rest of the class began to laugh while the teacher only became more frustrated with Yuki lack of focus. He managed to keep his composure with Yuki. “Well the galaxy can wait until after my class is done, Mr. Hayashi.”


Yumi smiled to herself seeing the Yuki she was so familiar with. She could not see what her brother was concerned about in Yuki in the slightest. Yuki was just a normal student in her class that had a little more attention than most. When she caught him looking around in her direction she quickly snapped back trying to keep her face from getting too red. ‘…Yuki…’

“Can you believe him?” Kaede said once class ended for the day. Yuki and his friends had already left as well as a majority of the rest of the class. Kaede and Katsumi were waiting on Yumi to finish up things at her desk and Yuki made the topic of discussion.

Katsumi nodded in agreement Kaede standing next to Yumi’s desk. “He was sleeping in class, again.”

“How many times does that make?”

“I don’t know, but it’s like three times a week at least.”

“Yeah, and then he goes on about his dream like we care.”

“Really, he can’t even tell when he’s awake or dreaming.”

“Don’t you think so, Yumi?” Katsumi leaned over to see what Yumi was doing in her pack.

Yumi pulled her head up from her seat and stood up ready to go. She was not willing to answer them knowing how badly they talked about Yuki every time he did something in class. Kaede and Katsumi hardly caught it and followed Yumi out of the school. The subject of Yuki was not dead though as she had hoped it would be.

“Don’t you think that Yuki is a troublemaker too, Yumi?” Kaede said looking over at Yumi as they walked down the sidewalk.

“Well I…he’s…”

“You’ve spent some time with him. You know right?”

Yumi did not like it when they confronted her like this about Yuki. She was never able to speak up strongly to them even though they were her friends. “He’s not…”

“How can you defend him, Yumi? Look what he did in class.”

“Kaede’s right, Yumi. He just causes trouble! And there’s those rumors too!”

“What rumors?” Yumi said remembering that Yori had been concerned about rumors around Yuki as well. She wanted to know more about why people did not like him.

“I don’t know much, but they say he got into fights everyday at his last school.”

“But he doesn’t—“

“Yumi, you should stay away from him. He’ll get you into trouble too just like he does to that new girl Ayumi.”

Yumi was getting to the end of her rope listening to her friends talking so badly about Yuki. Her body was shaking knowing that all she could do was stutter continuing to lose the words that tried to come out. She came to a stop at the corner of the street with her friends turning to look back when they realized that she was not following them. Her head was held down casting a black shadow over her eyes obscuring them from view between her bangs.


“Is something wrong?”

She tried to hold back her tears knowing that it was not going to help her in any way. Her friends began to touch her shoulders trying to figure out why she had gone so still, but she did not answer them. Yumi remained like a statue for a minute stuck in turmoil. When she finally snapped out of it and rose her head up her expression had changed back to normal. “I’m sorry. I’ve got work today. So I have to leave now.”

“Yumi?” said Kaede and Katsumi as they watched Yumi cross the street waving to them. They looked back at each other feeling puzzled by the way she had been just a moment ago.

‘Yori and now my friends too… What should I do? I could barely hold back the tears in front of them. I can’t let them know…’

To be continued…

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